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Thinking of Implementing a KM Solution? Some Advice from the Experts:

  • Start small. Pick a narrow domain area where you can demonstrate the value of a KM solution, prove that it works, and then extend it into other research areas. This makes a project easier to implement than an enterprise-wide, top-down strategy, and a more concrete value proposition for upper management.
  • Parallelize. Once you’ve mapped out a complete KM architecture for your organization, “move ahead at all fronts at once,” a pharma discovery IT manager recommends. The system will require several layers of execution, from basic data integration through to ontology and thesaurus development, data mining and visualization tools, to the user interface. Development on all of these areas can — and should — progress in parallel.
  • Think socially. Many KM projects fail because they are implemented without regard for how the technology will be used by researchers. Social and cultural issues often outweigh technology barriers to effective knowledge management, so take employees’ work habits into account when planning how information will be disseminated across the organization.
  • Incentivize. Find creative ways to encourage researchers to use the system once it is in place. If sharing knowledge is perceived as a chore, users won’t do it. Deloitte’s Breggar suggests a system: “Every time you put in a bit of information, you would get a point, and every time somebody accessed the information that you put in, you would get a point for that, too. The points accumulate and then quarterly you can cash them in for movie tickets or coupons for a nearby restaurant.”
  • Lobby for support. “Find an area that has both the need and someone who will champion this,” said Accenture’s Bedi.”Sponsorship for these kinds of solutions is very important.”


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